Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Menu Search

Trinity College Dublin By using this website you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with the Trinity cookie policy. For more information on cookies see our cookie policy.

Profile Photo

Dr. Fionnuala Hickey

Visiting Research Fellow (Clinical Medicine)


I am a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Clinical Medicine and Lab Manager of the Meath Foundation Research Labs at Tallaght Hospital. My translational research focuses on the role of mitochondria and metabolism in human inflammation. I graduated from TCD with a degree in Human Genetics in 2000. Following graduation I worked for a year as a Research Assistant in the Department of Human Genetics at the University of Chicago. I then returned to Ireland where I obtained my PhD in Biochemistry from UCC in 2005. I began my postdoctoral research in the School of Biochemistry and Immunology, TCD with Prof. Kingston Mills (2005-2007) where my research focussed on the evaluation of bacterial toxins as potential therapeutic immunomodulators. I subsequently worked with Prof. Catherine Godson in the Diabetes Complications Research Centre at the Conway Institute in UCD (2007-2009). In 2009 I was awarded a Postdoctoral career Development Fellowship from the Health Research Board to study the role and mechanisms of regulation of IHG-1, a novel mitochondrial mediator of fibrosis. From 2013-2016 I was the senior scientist within the Trinity Health Kidney Centre investigating the role of immune cell metabolism in the autoimmune condition ANCA vasculitis.
 UNICORN group: Underlying mechanisms in Neonatal Immune metaboliC dysregulatiOn and bRain iNjury
 Investigating the role of immune cell metabolism in Sarcoidosis

Fazekas B, Moreno-Olivera A, Kelly Y, O'Hara P, Murray S, Kennedy A, Conlon N, Scott J, Melo AM, Hickey FB, Dooley D, O'Brien EC, Moran S, Doherty DG, Little MA., Alterations in circulating lymphoid cell populations in systemic small vessel vasculitis are non-specific manifestations of renal injury., Clinical & Experimental Immunology, 191, (2), 2018, p180 - 188, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Hickey FB, Martin F., Role of the Immune System in Diabetic Kidney Disease., Current Diabetes Reports, 18, (4), 2018, p20-, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Dearbhaile Dooley, Mirjan M. van Timmeren, Vincent P. O'Reilly, Gareth Brady, Eoin C. O'Brien, Barbara Fazekas, Fionnuala B. Hickey, Emma Leacy, Charles D. Pusey, Frederick W.K. Tam, Thomas Mehrling, Peter Heeringa and Mark A. Little, Alkylating histone deacetylase inhibitors may have therapeutic value in experimental myeloperoxidase-ANCA vasculitis, Kidney International, 2018, Notes: [In Press], Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI
Al-Ani B, Fitzpatrick M, Al-Nuaimi H, Coughlan AM, Hickey FB, Pusey CD, Savage C, Benton CM, O'Brien EC, O'Toole D, Mok KH, Young SP, Little MA., Changes in urinary metabolomic profile during relapsing renal vasculitis., Scientific Reports, 6, 2016, p38074-, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI  URL
O'Reilly VP, Wong L, Kennedy C, Elliot LA, O'Meachair S, Coughlan AM, O'Brien EC, Ryan MM, Sandoval D, Connolly E, Dekkema GJ, Lau J, Abdulahad WH, Sanders JS, Heeringa P, Buckley C, O'Brien C, Finn S, Cohen CD, Lindemeyer MT, Hickey FB, O'Hara PV, Feighery C, Moran SM, Mellotte G, Clarkson MR, Dorman AJ, Murray PT, Little MA., Urinary Soluble CD163 in Active Renal Vasculitis., Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 27, (9), 2016, p2906 - 2916, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Coughlan AM, Harmon C, Whelan S, O'Brien EC, O'Reilly VP, Crotty P, Kelly P, Ryan M, Hickey FB, O'Farrelly C, Little MA., Myeloid Engraftment in Humanized Mice: Impact of Granulocyte-Colony Stimulating Factor Treatment and Transgenic Mouse Strain., Stem Cells and Development, 25, (7), 2016, p530 - 541, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
O'Brien EC, Abdulahad WH, Rutgers A, Huitema MG, O'Reilly VP, Coughlan AM, Harrington M, Heeringa P, Little MA, Hickey FB, Intermediate monocytes in ANCA vasculitis: increased surface expression of ANCA autoantigens and IL-1ß secretion in response to anti-MPO antibodies., Scientific reports, 5, 2015, p11888 -, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI  URL
Hickey FB, Corcoran JB, Griffin B, Bhreathnach U, Mortiboys H, Reid HM, Andrews D, Byrne S, Furlong F, Martin F, Godson C, Murphy M., IHG-1 Increases Mitochondrial Fusion and Bioenergetic Function, Diabetes, 63, (12), 2014, p4314 - 4325, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  DOI  URL
Corcoran JB, McCarthy S, Griffin B, Gaffney A, Bhreathnach U, Börgeson E, Hickey FB, Docherty NG, Higgins DF, Furlong F, Martin F, Godson C, Murphy M. , IHG-1 must be localised to mitochondria to decrease Smad7 expression and amplify TGF-β1-induced fibrotic responses, Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA), 1833, (8), 2013, p1969 - 1978, Journal Article, PUBLISHED  TARA - Full Text  DOI  URL
Murphy M, Hickey FB and Godson C, IHG-1 amplifies TGF-β1 signalling and mitochondrial biogenesis and is increased in diabetic kidney disease, Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension, 22, (1), 2013, p77-84 , Review, PUBLISHED  URL

Page 1 of 2


Award Date
Brian Keogh Festschrift 2014
Enterprise Ireland - Co-ordinator support grant 2014
Burroughs Wellcome Travel Scholarship. 2011
HRB Postdoctoral Research Fellowship 2009
Best poster presentation award, Irish Nephrology Society 2009
UCD Seed Funding - Dissemination and Outputs 2008
Best oral presentation award, Irish Cytometry Society 2008
Best oral presentation award, Medical Research Day, Cork University Hospital 2004
My research focuses on the role of mitochondria in cell signalling and function, particularly in inflammation. I work very closely with clinical coleagues and my current translational research is investigating the role of mitochondria in a number of autoimmune and inflammatory conditions including neonatal encephalopathy, ANCA-associated vasculitis and sarcoidosis.